Tag Archive | "orphan care"

Be A Voice

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Be A Voice

Posted on 28 March 2012 by Kari Gibson

My Life Is Crazy Too is a new series of reader submissions. This is your opportunity to share stories about life, love, and mommyhood to provide understanding, hope, and compassion in the unique situations each of us face every day. If you would like to submit a story to this series, email me.  Today’s crazy guest is Kara Vassar.

When we were on our adoption journey, we wanted to feel connected to Ethiopia during our wait.  So, we got our hands on a Yezelalem Minch documentary. We heard that our adoption agency helps this orphan/widow care ministry in Ethiopia.   My husband and I watched it. I cried! We were amazed, in awe, saddened, and yet hopeful. In the movie, the visionary Birtukan and founder Nesibu were such an inspiration. They are truly the Hands and Feet of Christ in Ethiopia. The very next day, I sponsored a boy from Yezelalem Minch (YZM).  I knew in my heart that I would help them spread their ministry someday. But, at the moment, our adoption journey was 1st priority.  Within 6 months after we brought our 2 children home, I was offered a FREE pass for a week long Christian music festival (a festival that has been in my town for years, yet NEVER attended).  At this festival the Lord spoke to my heart saying, “it is time to help Yezelalem Minch and be their voice”.  I had NO idea what I was doing but I felt I could start by sharing their story on facebook.  To move people’s hearts, you have to show them a need and how they can make a difference.  I thought sharing the Yezelalem Minch documentary was the answer.  After contacting the director, I had copies made and started sending them out free.  The response was amazing!  I was overwhelmed by how so many people stepped up to help these Yezelalem Minch children in Ethiopia.  Now, there are so many YZM advocates throughout the US that children are being sponsored on a more regular basis.   Praise God for this miracle.  Nesibu, Birtukan and YZM staff do all the hard work by making sure their 1300 children are cared for, loved and valued as our very own children are. Continue Reading

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7 Crazy Days in Haiti Changed My Life

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7 Crazy Days in Haiti Changed My Life

Posted on 03 February 2012 by Kari Gibson

I just got back from my Visiting Orphans mission trip “Simply Love Haiti” and can’t wait to share with you the incredible stories and photos from the 7 days in Haiti. I love that God turned this trip into a grand adventure … all 16 of my team were extraordinary and just like you …. want to make a difference to the unreached people groups who have never heard about Jesus! On a personal note, God used this trip to rock my heart and taught me that I have so much to learn about sharing the gospel and loving BIG with compassion – not judging the actions of others. I will kick off Haiti Week here starting next Monday through Friday!  God gave me the gift of cheerleading and I pray that the stories will encourage you to GO and DO something to live dead. John 12:24.

I also wanted to thank you for your unswerving support and prayers the past week we were in Haiti. We needed prayer warriors and the comments and Facebook messages you left me made such a difference. We spent 2 days in Port-au-Prince and 5 days up in the mountains of Pignon- living at an orphanage called Haiti Home of Hope with the Campbell family.

Don’t miss the start of my project with Tom Davis and Children’s HopeChest ministry on February 14th …. Valentine’s Day!!!! This project will bless children and YOU with an extreme giveaway you can be a part of!! I can’t wait to tell you all about it!! Love you all!


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My #1 Birthday Wish In Haiti (I’m turning 45)

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My #1 Birthday Wish In Haiti (I’m turning 45)

Posted on 20 January 2012 by Kari Gibson

I wanted to make a statement (to myself) that turning 45 years old was just the beginning of a new era. I wanted to prove, that 45 was the new 35, but then I realized that I wanted 45 to be the new 45. I don’t want to be the person I was at 35, because God has done so much for me since that time. So, as my birthday present to me, I decided to spend it doing what I love the most …. a mission trip! I’m getting on an airplane [today] and flying with 16 crazy people to celebrate what life is really all about … simply loving one another.

My hubby challenged me to write about what I’ve learned the most over the past decade. I think the heart of the challenge, what has God changed the most in my life. I recently told one of my good friends … “I don’t think you would have liked me much 10 years ago!” They looked at me with a surprised look and responded, “Why?” It’s humbling to look back at how selfish I was with the blessings God gave me. I really lived a life that was all about me. I can’t believe that God has so much planned for me, but my stubbornness and immaturity held me back from the true blessings. I had no clue what it meant to live-dead or absolutely no interest in sacrificing my comfort, ambition, and purpose. The single most life-changing moment in my life was when we adopted Zoie. Adoption radically changed my life. I’m grateful today that He never gave up on me … patiently directing me as I tumbled all over the place until I fixed my eyes on His plan.

I’m definitely a work in progress, but God has changed the way I want to spend my time, how I spend my money, and my focus on what’s really important to Him. The past 10 years, I’ve grown up as a mom, and a wife, and a friend, but most importantly, I feel like I finally tapped into what God created me to do. I’ve stopped asking God to give me the desires of my heart, but ask Him to give me the desires of HIS heart. I make mistakes every day, but I’m learning how to have the freedom to learn from my mistakes and stop beating myself up for making them. I want to allow myself permission to have the freedom to be different, to make mistakes, to be vulnerable, and to keep my candor about the craziness of life.

My biggest challenge I’m tackling right now in my life, is not taking the time to self care. I have a tendency to take care of everyone around me with intense compassion, but I often forget to take care of me. I hate to admit this on my blog, but let’s keep it real … I’ve gained 23 pounds and stopped exercising. I joke about being a little “fluffy” but, I know I need to really take care of my physical body, too. I’ve committed this year, to get in shape and learn how to eat to live, instead of living to eat. I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis last year and have kinda been in denial about the disease in my colon. I need to be gluten-free, but haven’t taken the time to make this life change in my eating. I’ve made a lot of mistakes the past year and I want to have the courage to self care. I want to continue to have an abundance of energy for my 3 kids and hubby to enjoy all the amazing adventures to come in my life.

Tomorrow, I turn 45 years old. I can’t wait to wake up in Port-au-Prince and head to the orphanage we’re serving for two days and hold a child in my arms – simply loving. My #1 birthday wish I to have the opportunity to love big on children who may have never heard about Jesus or the words … I love you! I want the day to be absolutely nothing about me, but about what God has planned for the day. I’m asking Him to pour His love and spirit through our team, so that every single person we come into contact feels His love through us. What a gift to give fully our time, energy, and love. I’m asking God to send a special child in my path that I can give the gift of the blessing.

Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love. 1 Cor. 13:13

Would you please pray for the “Simply Love Haiti” Visiting Orphans team for the next 7 days as we serve in PAP and Pignon. We’ll have the opportunity to work for 2 days with a tent-orphanage and then up in the mountains in a tiny village. We’ll get to live in an orphanage and spend the day working at a clinic and loving the community. The people are deeply affected by their Haitian religion practices, Voodoo. It is the dominant religion of Haiti. Please pray for our protection and the salvation of the people we minister to.

Next week, please stop by here every day and read the amazing guest posts from a variety of readers …. moms, adoption stories, and mission-hearted stories!! Please, please, please leave your comments after you read their stories!!! It’s the best way to encourage more people to open up and share their life, too. I want to especially thank YOU for being a part of my life. I love you- readers who have made a difference in my life every day right here on my blog.

If you have enjoyed or learned something from this post … please share.

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Man Up and Vlog

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Man Up and Vlog

Posted on 06 September 2011 by Kari Gibson

My hubby is guest vlogging for me this week and shares about what it means to be a Man Upper!  This is the perfect video to watch with your hubby and encourage him to take the Man Up challenge.  To read more about our upcoming mission trips with Visiting Orphans- please check out this link here.

Q- What does your man do to Man Up for his children?  What’s one thing you would like to challenge your man to Man Up and go on a mission trip?

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Your Craziest Crazy Bow Thank You Ever

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Your Craziest Crazy Bow Thank You Ever

Posted on 26 August 2011 by Kari Gibson

As I put an adorable “store bought” bow in my daughter’s hair today, I couldn’t help but think of the 4,000+ headbands you sent me to put on the heads of princesses and princess in Uganda on my Visiting Orphans mission trip.  I still can’t believe you mailed me [this year] over 7,000 bows, hair accessories and headbands of love.  The best part, was flipping out my Flip camera and taking this hilarious video of the craziness of crowing bows to the Karamonjong Tribe at Katie Davis’ ministry, Amazima.  I literally dragged myself out of the pile of chaos to ask a few children to say “hello” and “thank you!”

So, thank YOU with all my heart, for making the girls and boys feel beautiful for the day!  You will never know the impact you had on their hearts!  We have some really amazing projects coming up this Fall [here] on the blog.  Let’s wrap up together 2011 loving BIG and making a difference in the life of an orphan.  Ya’ll keep inspiring me to live James 1:27 throughout the year!  I love you sisters!

(Anyone interested in helping me crown princesses for my Haiti mission trip in January? hint hint!)

Enjoy …. your craziest, crazy thank you ever!!

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Crazy Links I Love

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Crazy Links I Love

Posted on 20 August 2011 by Kari Gibson

This is YOUR personal shout out for your adoption and missions fundraisers!! My Crazy Adoption Blog brings the craziness straight to you- sending readers to check out your links!

If you have a special project, fundraiser, or blog post you want to share with my crazy readers, leave a comment with all your information and permalink (example http://tinyurl.com/3t4fxbo: ) to take readers directly to your site.

You can also email me during the week and personally request to share your projects on Crazy Links I Love post content. Please limit to adoption, missions, or orphan care fundraisers. I want to help you get the word out there!


1. By way of introduction, my husband and I (Kristin) are currently in the middle of our international adoption, bringing home this little one will make ours a family of nine. We’ve identified a little girl with some special needs in Thailand and are praying hard that we’ll be able to adopt her. Thailand would have to make some exceptions in our case, and right now we’re just doing the old wait and wait and wait routine. One of these days we’ll hear something! : )

In the meantime, though, we’re working on raising funds, and that’s why I’m contacting you. My husband works in the film and video industry, so the idea for a film festival fundraiser was a no brainer for us. The festival is scheduled for October 28th, 2011. Our biggest need at this point is film submissions- we’re trying to round up a great variety of films to show, and need to get the word out. We’ll consider films from anyone, professional or amateur, the only real requirements are that they be short (under 15 minutes) and family friendly. There is no entry fee for submissions, the funds are being raised by audience donations.  Here is the link to the post that includes the submission guidelines and entry form- http://trippfamilyadoption.blogspot.com/2011/07/film-festival-submission-guidelines-and.html

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My ‘Motion Of Mercy’ Journey

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My ‘Motion Of Mercy’ Journey

Posted on 29 July 2011 by Kari Gibson

Francesca Battistelli has a beautiful song called Motion of Mercy and every time I hear it, I feel like she is singing to me.  About 10 years ago I was completely poor, weak, and bankrupt spiritually.  I was selfish and unsatisfied with my life.  I loved being a wife and mother, but there was no purpose or passion for ministry.  It was important for me to keep my life simple and comfortable- really only choosing to do things that were convenient to my needs.  I had no idea what it meant to give myself away. In all honestly, I wasted so much time, energy and money on things that have no purpose or meaning.  It makes me [sniff] right now thinking about the lost years.

I love that God pours His mercy on the most hungry and thirsty of His children.  He created a purpose for me and I just needed to open my heart and listen to His calling.  His mercies saved my life.  I had no idea what God had in store when we made the decision to adopt Zoie.  He had a plan already made and was waiting [ever so patiently] for us to set things in motion.  He knew our speed would be super slow, but He never stopped pouring mercy on our family.  Adoption changed our lives, but the next part of His plan – caring for the fatherless was the missing link in my life.  I will be forever grateful to Him for connecting me with Visiting Orphans ministry.  The ministry He has waiting for me has radically changed my life.  The words … I was empty before now I’m drawn to compassion now take on a whole new meaning.  God give me strength to give something for nothing
I wanna be a glimpse of the Kingdom that’s coming soonThat’s the motion of mercy … Changing the way and the why we are. That’s the motion of mercy … Moving my heart.  I went on my first mission trip when I was 41 years old and I pray I can dedicate the next 41+ years to serving and living for the lost and loving ‘til it hurts … No matter what the cost.

I’d really love to hear how God has started the “Motion of Mercy” in your life?  I pray we can continue to support and encourage each other in blog land to keep loving Him big!!

This is a personal video I took sitting next to the Nile River in Uganda alone- just me and God.  It’s emotional for me to listen again to my prayer and thankfulness how God changed the way and why in my life.


“Motion Of Mercy”

I was poor I was weak
I was the definition of the spiritually
Bankrupt condition
So in need of help

I was unsatisfied
Hungry and thirsty
When You rushed to my side
So unworthy
Still You gave yourself away…

That’s the motion of mercy
Changing the way and the why we are
That’s the motion of mercy
Moving my heart

Now I’m filled by a love
That calls me to action
I was empty before now I’m drawn to compassion
And to give myself away

Living for the lost
Loving ‘til it hurts
No matter what the cost
Like You loved me first
That’s the motion of mercy

God give me strength to give something for nothing
I wanna be a glimpse of the Kingdom that’s coming soon

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How To Start An Orphan Movement!

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How To Start An Orphan Movement!

Posted on 26 June 2011 by Kari Gibson

Have you ever thought, “I wish I could do something for orphans but I am just one person, the problem is so big, etc., etc., etc.,”  Since you are on Kari’s blog you should know that is not true!  One person can make an eternal difference!  Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, was just one person but He saved humanity from eternal destruction!  OK, well He was God, so He did have an advantage over us.  However, He has called us and will equip us to make a difference in the lives of orphans.  One way that you can make a difference this year is to get involved with Orphan Sunday 2011.  Orphan Sunday is November 6, 2011 and the time to plan is NOW!!!!!  The Christian Alliance for Orphans has everything you need to get involved.  If you go to http://www.orphansunday.org/, you will find all you will need to organize an Orphan Sunday event.

On Orphan Sunday, Christians stand for the orphan . We are a people called to defend the fatherless…to care for the child that has no family…to visit orphans in their distress.  Orphan Sunday is hundreds of events across America and beyond, all sharing a single goal: that God’s great love for the orphan will find echo in our lives as well.  Every person can get involved.  Events can be whatever the Lord calls you to do.  Some events in the past have included sermons, small groups, concerts, prayer gatherings, etc.—each rousing believers with God’s call to care for the orphan…and what we can do in response.  Orphan Sunday is your opportunity to rouse church, community and friends to God’s call to care for the orphan.

The seeds of this united Orphan Sunday come especially as a gift from the Church in Africa. While attending a church service in Zambia, an American visitor was struck by the pastor’s passionate call to care for orphans in the local community, which had been ravaged by AIDS and poverty. Members of the church faced deep need themselves. But as the service ended, one after another stepped forward with money, food and other goods-some even taking off their own shoes and placing them in the offering for orphans.  The visitor, Gary Schneider, was so impacted that he began to help Zambian leaders coordinate Orphan Sunday efforts across Zambia. These efforts spread to the U.S. in 2003 with help from Every Orphan’s Hope and other organizations.  The Christian Alliance for Orphans honors the church in Zambia for the gift of Orphan Sunday. We pray the Church in America may be as faithful to reflect God’s heart for the orphan, both near and far.

Your journey to Orphan Sunday can begin today!  You can join this world-wide movement in four easy steps.  First decide to hold an Orphan Sunday even and commit it to prayer.  Next check out the Partnership Packages and Resources links on www.orphansunday.org.  Third, you will want to choose the format for your event and begin to plan.  The last step is to register your event on the Orphan Sunday website.
I am the volunteer Orphan Sunday Deputy Director and I would love to help with any questions you may have regarding Orphan Sunday.  You can reach me at I am also looking for folks who would be interested in being Regional Coordinators.  I am here to help you each step of the way!
Janiece Wieschhaus
Volunteer Orphan Sunday Deputy Director

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[Sammy] A Boy Who Grew Up In Korah

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[Sammy] A Boy Who Grew Up In Korah

Posted on 15 June 2011 by Kari Gibson

I’m so excited to introduce my brother, Samuel Liben.  This is his story.


History of Korah

75 years ago the village was established because of leprosy. The people came from the countryside to seek treatment for their illness. They came to Alert Hospital, which was established by Dr. Ross, from the U.S. and a Dutch doctor named Chris Dorman. When they heard of the spread of leprosy, these two men approached King Hale Selase to request land to establish a hospital specifically for the treatment of leprosy. King Hale Selase was willing to give land, but only land that was far from the town and in the forest as to keep the people with leprosy separate from everyone else. The two doctors started the hospital and began treating these patients who had immigrated from the countryside.

These infected people came to the city because their family members believed they were cursed when they contracted leprosy. Some of these individuals were put into a separate hut when their disease was discovered and later their family tried to light their hut on fire. The family members were so convinced that the leprosy was a curse that they were willing to kill their own children. Some escaped from these hostile family members and came to Addis for treatment.

The History of Liben

Liben was born into a big family in the countryside. He was the youngest of 7 brothers, so he was in charge of taking care of the cattle as a Shepard. He made sure they ate, stayed safe, and went to the river for water. Liben did not have shoes, like many children in the countryside, so he picked up the bacteria that causes leprosy. This is how leprosy spread throughout the countryside, basically because of a lack of shoes.

Although he kept the illness a secret, his parents eventually found out that he had leprosy. In response, his father ordered 4 of his brothers to take Liben into the forest and kill him. One day they took him out into the forest and he did not know where he was going. When they reached a hidden place, they began to beat him, and then shot him in the face. Thinking he was dead, they threw his body off of a cliff to hide what they had done. Amazingly, Liben was not dead. Thankfully, he was found by someone who knew of the Alert Hospital in Addis Ababa, who then sent him there for treatment.

When Liben came to Addis, he went to the hospital for treatment and met Tsahi, who had also fled the countryside and came to Addis for treatment of leprosy. He came 400 kilometers and she traveled 600 kilometers to come to Addis, the only place where treatment was available. Many people who came from such far off places walked, which only intensified their conditions.

Liben and Tsahi were married shortly after they received treatment. To their great joy, they gave birth to a healthy son, Samuel and then 2 years later to a healthy girl, Tsega. They took up residence in the place where the hospital was established, which was called Korah. They, along with many others who received treatment at the hospital, chose Korah as their home, because they feared the rejection they had faced outside of this safe haven. Therefore, Korah became Ethiopia’s leprosy colony.

Doctors Ross and Dorman continued to serve this community that grew year by year as more people heard of the Alert Hospital. People are still coming to Alert Hospital today to receive treatment for their leprosy. When they come, they find a community who they can relate with and therefore Korah continues to grow. Together, this community faces much rejection from outsiders who refuse to truly understand their condition or former conditions. They face great challenges to find work because of stigma, and therefore the community is consumed with poverty. The village also lacked consistent water and power supply because it was seen as unimportant by those in control of such resources.

Doctors Ross and Dorman also built an elementary school for the children of the Korah community, because although they did not have leprosy, they were prohibited from attending school in the city. For those who never had the chance to receive an education, the two doctors began a handy craft project that trained the people of Korah to make crafts that could be sold for a profit.

After King Hale Selase lost power to the Communist Dirge Regime took power and the lives of the people of Korah only worsened. The regime wanted those with leprosy to be eliminated. Therefore, the military base close to the colony would often send out soldiers to beat and even slaughter residents of Korah. They thought it was better if these “lepers” were dead.

Years ago, the impoverished people of Korah began sending their children to the nearby landfill (the king also put this far away from the city just like these people) to collect anything that seemed edible. To survive, these families consumed food that others had thrown away. This became their lives – waking every morning, running to the trash yard, and then fighting to salvage the best that could be found there for food. This is still happening today. After the communists had power for 17 years the revolutionaries took back control. With this change there came a new, yet disgraceful opportunity – this new government would actually let the “lepers” beg in the city.

The statistics now show that there are approximately 130.000 people living in the Korah area. This community is made up of people with different backgrounds, but one thing in common – poverty. The area is becoming a breeding ground for HIV as prostitution has become ramped in the community – a popular response to the poverty trap. Small moonshine houses are also a common business here as many men choose to drink as an escape from the realities of their lives.

The name Korah came from the idea that the people in the community were cursed. For years people referred to the leprosy colony and those in it as the sons of Korah who were swallowed up by the earth in the old testament because of their sinfulness. Eventually this became the official name of the community, only exasperating their shame and rejection.

The history of Korah is hard to read for many, because of the many injustices that the community has faced. Today, these injustices have resulted in a community that needs the understanding, guidance, and help of the church. There is much potential for this community of “rejects” and that is why this website and the ministries described herein exists.

Young Life

A man named Chuck Rinehold founded Young Life in Ethiopia. When he first came to Addis Ababa with his group of ministers there was a guesthouse in the middle of the city he was booked to stay at. The plan was for him to start to work with a high school close to this guesthouse. When he got there, the guesthouse was full, so he went to stay instead at the Baptist Mission Compound next to the Korah Community. One day he went with his group to check out what was near their compound and he noticed the smoke of the garbage dump. They wondered what was happening and decided to go and find out. When they reached the garbage dump, they were utterly shocked to see the people fighting for the food that had been dumped there. The kids who were fighting were also shocked to see these foreigners in the garbage dump – why would they come to such a place a Korah?

Chuck approached these kids and introduced himself. After spending some time with them, he and his team returned to their compound at which time Chuck decided his work in Ethiopia should be with these kids in Korah. He knew Young Life only worked with kids in high school, but his heart had been so touched that he decided he would do things differently and work with these kids who had no school. He worked with Young Life in Korah from 1999 until 2001, offering the youth of Korah much hope through the message of Jesus, opportunities for school, and other means to develop into ministers themselves. One of these youth was the son of Liben, Samuel.

Samuel’s Story

Samuel spent the majority of his childhood struggling to get the food he and his family needed from the garbage dump. When he was 12 years old, he and some of his friends decided to go and join the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea. They wanted to get their food from the military, which was their motivation for joining the army. They were sick and tired of always fighting for the leftovers that could sometimes be found in the garbage dump.

On the way to register for the army, they crossed the compound where Young Life started the ministry. They saw a lot of the U.S. Young Life Leaders hanging out with the kids from the Korah community. Samuel had never seen American people with the kids of his community – kids of lepers. He and his friends stopped to watch what was going on. While Samuel was watching, one of the Americans named Ross Bebbe waved at him, so Samuel looked back to make sure he was indeed waving at him. Samuel had grown up waving at the previous missionaries who had lived at this compound only to receive no response back, so when this American waved at him, Samuel was very intrigued. As he wondered, Ross crossed the street and came close to Samuel and his friends. He then shook Samuel’s hand and introduced himself. At that moment Samuel became overwhelmed with excitement because of this attention that Ross was showing him. Ross invited Samuel to play Frisbee with him, so he stayed at the compound to have fun with his new friend. After some time, Ross invited Samuel to come to the Young Life Club to have more fun. When Samuel went home he told his mom everything that had happened.

The next day Samuel went to the first Young Life Club meeting held in Korah, and became even more excited to be a part of this amazing group of people. While there, Chuck Rinehold gave a speech that contained scripture that touched Samuel’s heart. It was Matthew 8, when Jesus hugged and healed the leper. For Samuel, this portrayel of Jesus and his compassion for a leper was amazing, because he had never heard of or seen anyone who cared for those with leprosy. At that moment Samuel began to weep. He went home and told his mom the whole story about Jesus and they cried together.

Samuel decided to stay and be a part of the Young Life Club and Ross Bebbe began to disciple him, help him, and teach him English. After this time, Samuel became a Young Life Leader himself and began reaching out to his own community of Korah. Now Samuel is continuing his ministry in Korah through his work with The Great Hope Church. He visits HIV and leprosy infected people, the kids who are collecting food from the garbage dump, and other desperate people in Korah. He only brings with him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope that only Jesus can bring.

Great Hope Ministry History

The Great Hope Ministry was established in Korah almost  3 years ago. The idea of the Ministry came out of the burden a young man named Samuel had for the desperate community of Korah. Samuel, having come out of a past of rejection himself, felt lead to minister within this community. He was born in Korah by both leper families. Raised up straggling Samuel knew everything about Korah, but he did not know Jesus. One day he met this strangers who shared the Gospel message of Jesus Christ with him. Samuel immediately accepted Jesus as his Savior and eventually began evangelizing his community. Due to his zealous behavior, Samuel was recruiting  more young Christian leaders to work with to reach his need community people.

Samuels past hurts were what motivated him to begin evangelizing and discipling the hurting youth in the Korah community. For years Samuel would visit with these kids as a Young Life Leader, all the while demonstrating the love of Christ. After some time, this group grew and the vision of The Great Hope Ministry immerged. Today, the Ministry is in the middle of the Korah community where it has a thriving body of believers who want to serve God and transform their community.




  • · To provide schooling for the kids who live in the trash dump, so they can be rescued.
  • · To provide schooling for those in the Korah Community
  • · A new way of life.
  • · A hope of Eternal Life for those who have been rejected and segregated from their own nation.
  • · To encourage them to Rise Up and have confidence in themselves for those who have very low self-esteem
  • · Food for those who live in starvation
  • · Reaching the outcasts (Lepers, HIV, Prostitutes, widows, and orphans.)
  • · To empower the community with the Gospel


  • · Where people in the community can come under one roof as a family and worship the Lord.
  • · To provide a daycare with a safe environment that will enhance their knowledge and actions of good hygiene.
  • · To have tutors that will help the children who lack the opportunity to go to school, learn and have a better knowledge of skills for their future lives.
  • · To provide a loving place for orphans to come and feel wanted.
  • · Where the people of the community can come and be fed. (Which could possibly be their only meal of the day)
  • · A place where the community can see movies about Jesus. Example: Passion of Christ

Orphan Adoptions:

  • · Help orphans get adopted into trustworthy homes and families.
  • · Help the people in the United States to be able to afford adoptions, by serving them and lowering the cost of money. (It is more important for the Children to be provided with better homes and a family)


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Crazy Links I Love

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Crazy Links I Love

Posted on 20 November 2010 by Kari Gibson

I’m crazy about these amazing links- bloggy friends email me their special projects and I LOVE shouting out for you!!  If you have a special project or fundraiser let me know… add your own links today in the comments or Linky Tool.

1.  I’m crazy about these amazing Christmas ornaments. My friend Kim is production, order fulfillment, and shipper… somewhere underneath all the ornament love is our dinner table.

2.  Take a look at this wonderful adoption blog and fun give away  www.taylor-family-blog.blogspot.com The iPad GIVE A WAY blog is http://taylor-family-blog.blogspot.com/2010/11/win-ipad-enter-here.html

3.  Please check out adoption blog: www.familywovenbyfaith.blogspot.com and take a peek at their amazing new Africa shirts!!  They are traveling soon to bring home a beautiful baby girl (I met her in Ethiopia!!)

“What an amazing blessing it is to have so many people supporting us as we cross the finish line on our adoption!  And if our financial need is met in excess, then we will pass the blessing on to other adoptive families…because we are all in this caring for orphans together!”  Thanks so much!  Wendy

4.  Nepal Adoptions need our help- take time to fill out petition and help families bring home their children waiting.

http://www.petition2congress.com/2/3710/ to help our daughter in Nepal as well as the other families struggling to bring their children home.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help us spread the word to bring these precious little ones home so they can finally be with their family….something they have never known. With ALL my heart, I thank you. :) ~GiGi  Be sure to visit http://www.petition2congress.com/2/ for important action items.

5. “My name is Jillienne (blog) and my family and I are fundraising right now for our 3rd Ethiopian adoption.”  Take a peek at these adorable items for sale on her Etsy site here- http://www.etsy.com/shop/bjmiker

6.  “We are planning on adopting from Rwanda. (We are aware it is closed.) Our 4 1/2 yrs of marriage is in December and we plan on applying right after that. It is where God is calling us. So who are we to question:)”  Take a look at Michelle’s Etsy here-

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Sierra Leone Adoption Miracles

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Sierra Leone Adoption Miracles

Posted on 20 August 2010 by Kari Gibson

Just nine short months ago, The Raining Season opened the doors of The Covering, a children’s home in Sierra Leone, West Africa.  Since that time we have experienced joy, fear, sorrow, and pleasure of the ups and downs to doing the “bigger” plans that God always has for us.  The Raining Season is an organization whose mission is to provide a hopeful future to orphaned children and impoverished families through meeting their basic needs such as housing, nourishment, education, and small business grants.  Our organization is made up of ordinary people doing extraordinary things who have allowed our eyes to be opened to the desperate needs in Sierra Leone.   When God began to stir in the hearts of the founders to open The Covering the path was unclear.  We did not even have a building secured the week before we went to open it, but it is true that God always provides.  Once we got there we had a beautiful building, lots of materials, staffed hired and trained but only 3 children there to enjoy their new beds, clothes and toys.  It didn’t take long to start filling the halls and rooms with the sweet voices of the children who were so grateful to be in a place where they are loved and provided with the essence of family.  Now here we are nine months later and we are housing 79 children and busting at our seams.  We are totally out of space and are frequently asked to bring more children into our home.  There is nothing we would rather do than to rescue even more children, but we need help.  God’s plans are always bigger than ours so we are believing for a new building to house those many more children in need of shelter, clothes, food and love.

Here are some of the beautiful girls from The Covering

The Raining Season has partnered with Warm Hearts Group out of Springfield, MO which is an organization designed to help raise awareness and funds for the orphans in Sierra Leone as well as in our local communities.  Warm Hearts Group is dedicated to host fundraisers for travel and the specific needs of The Raining Season  throughout the year.  So many people are always looking for ways to get involved and help.  We believe we are all called to Save the Orphan “For you know all about it, the contempt the abuse.  I dare to believe the luckless will get lucky someday in you.  You won’t let them down, Orphans won’t be orphans forever”  psalm 10:14, but so many people just don’t know how to help.  If you want to be involved, Warm Hearts Group is a local organization and we are ready to help get you plugged in.  If you can provided a donation, we have very specific needs for funds right now.  We are raising money for a building fund, we are sending a medical/educational team the first week of September, and we still have 27 kids in need of sponsorship.  Remember we are all just ordinary people who have said “yes” to that tug on our hearts.   If you want to say “yes” to donating to The Covering or sponsoring a child please visit the website www.therainingseason.org.  If you want to say “yes” to going on a medical mission trip, please contact Lori Pyle at .  If you want to say “yes” to joining Warm Hearts Group, please email Lori Pyle at or Tiffany Johnson at

There are so many needs in Sierra Leone and you can help!!!

This is a mother and precious child who was severely malnourished in the Children’s Hospital.

We provided bread/water/and a small gift bag for them.

(photo above) This is Malige and Emmanuel at The Covering. Malige was just diagnosed with Sickle Cell Anemia and is 8 years old. Emmanuel is 4 but very close in size to his favorite buddy.

If you…or someone you know would be willing to give up 10 days to bring health and healing to some of our most vulnerable children please contact us as soon as possible. Please spread the word and once again….

Thank you for helping SAVE the ORPHAN

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Crazy Guest Blogger #11 – The Red Thread

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Crazy Guest Blogger #11 – The Red Thread

Posted on 28 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

The Red Thread (adoptive mom, Karen Firstbrook)

When you begin the adoption process from China, you are immediately immersed in adoption “lingo.” Words and acronyms like DTC, Dossier, red thread, LID and ladybugs are suddenly everywhere. Our family slowly became versed in all of the adoption lingo, and eventually the words took on personal meaning with our own adoption journey. Perhaps many of you are also well versed on those words, but for some the red thread concept might be new to you.

Let me explain . . .

On many China adoption related websites you will see the Chinese proverb:

“An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”

Many families hang on to this thought, finding comfort that they will eventually reach the child “destined” for them. Sure, it’s a nice thought, but we were confident from the start that God knew who our Katie was and He would wisely, providentially and perfectly bring us together as a family. Our family isn’t left to fate or destiny, our family is perfectly put together and sustained by our all-knowing, ever-loving God.

With that being said, we also knew that some day we would be given glimpses by God as to how and when He put our family together. We’ll never know all the details of Katie’s first year without us, but we do know she had to endure an abandonment and a year without a family before God would put us together. Even with all of the unknowns, we always felt confident that God would someday give us His version of the red thread.

Let me tell you about the story of our gracious red thread from the Lord:

We began the adoption process in December of 2004 and finally received our referral of Katie Mei in February of 2006. Finally, after so many months of waiting we had a face and information to go with the enormous love and longing we had. It was wonderful, glorious, and all that we imagined. But then I crashed.

After that first afternoon of staring into those eyes and at that sweet face, I suddenly became depressed. All I could think of were Katie’s birth parents. Did they know how cute she was? Who did she get those chubby cheeks from, her birth mother or birth father? Would she be tall or petite? Did they wonder about her everyday? I ached for them. I couldn’t look at Katie’s picture without becoming totally overwhelmed by grief for them.

Then, just a few days after our initial referral picture we received all of our translated information about Katie. It gave what few specific details there were about her abandonment. And then I became angry. Why there? Why then? Didn’t they love her enough to keep her longer? I knew all those questions were ridiculous. I knew in my mind that China has a horrible system that creates situations where parents have to make horrific choices. And within that system Katie’s birth parents made the most noble and honorable choice they could – they chose to give Katie a chance at life, a better life. There was no abortion. There was no abandonment in a secretive, remote location. They left her to be found with the hope for better. But I just could not see that for a few days. Instead of aching with grief, I was hot with anger. I was a mess.

During that time a sweet friend called to encourage me. She reminded me of the story that God is always weaving a tapestry out of our life. All we see is the underside of that tapestry, with the hanging threads and colors that make no sense, but someday, when the tapestry is finished, we’ll see it from heaven’s side and it will be beautiful and perfect and all make sense. It was the perfect reminder and I began again to trust God with all my emotions regarding Katie and her birth parents.

It was just a week or so later that I remembered we wanted to find out what we were doing on the day that Katie was born. I’m not always the best at keeping a calendar, but I did remember to save the calendar from 2005 and so I pulled it out. What do you know – the particular week that Katie was born was a week I had chosen to document every little detail of our lives for a scrapbook project. Not only did I have a calendar of that week, I had journaled and scrapbooked every day of that week! Isn’t God good?!

I ran to the scrapbook and pulled it out. Katie was born on May 11, 2005, so I went to May 10, 2005 – that would be the day here in the US that Katie was born in China. We didn’t really do anything picture worthy that day, so I had journaled more than usual. The one picture I did take on that day was of our i-pod playing, “I Have a Maker (He Knows my Name)” by Tommy Walker. We played this song over and over while we were waiting, allowing the words to remind us that God knew Katie from the beginning, that He was watching over her and caring for her. That day, May 10th, I was listening to that song, and I wrote:

“Just as I was writing down Scripture that I want to remember, the i-pod plays, “He Knows my Name.” Is today the day that Katie Mei is born, or abandoned? Is she already here, waiting for us? I don’t know, and that not knowing is hard, but God does know. And this brings me peace and comfort. I can rest, confident that He knows her and is caring for her already.”

Do you see that red thread in my tapestry? The very day that Katie Mei’s birth mom was in labor and giving life to our girl, her other mother half way around the world was longing for her and praying for her. God orchestrated that. No doubt about it. Someday, in heaven, as I look at my tapestry, that beautiful red thread in there will be for Katie and for her brave and courageous birth mom.

Isn’t God good?

[read more on Karen's blog]

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Crazy Guest Blogger #6 – Yes, We are Crazy

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Crazy Guest Blogger #6 – Yes, We are Crazy

Posted on 23 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

The Lancaster’s are not your average American family.  With 5 crazy kids (and another on the way) - there is an adventure waiting for them around every corner and life at their house is never dull.  They are currently writing a Family Devotional book and working to bring Lori Faith Lancaster home from China.  Jay, Camille, Madison, Annie, Chloe, Sam, Jax, and Lori hope their story inspires others to help the helpless and are encouraged by so many families who work tirelessly to defend the fatherless.  You can follow their story at www.lancasterfamilyfun.blogspot.com.


Our story of adoption is a little different.  We began talking about adoption almost 7 years ago and considered it “the right thing to do” – however, we had 5 biological children and struggled with justifying the costs of adoption and the logistics of adding more children to our family.  Like so many I’ve talked to, we really thought it was great – but not for us.  Then, a few years ago, we read a book about a family from the US who felt like God had asked them to leave everything and move to China to help orphans.  Their story was amazing and inspiring – one of those “Wow, I wish I had the courage to do that” stories.  We signed up for their monthly emails and discussed sponsoring one of the children in their care.  The sponsorship package came in the mail right in the middle of a week-long power outage in our community and needless to say, it was not my top priority at the time.  It was placed on a shelf and forgotten about until a year later.  Ugh – I hate admitting that!  This past winter, as I noticed this large envelope looming in the corner of my dining room – I reached for it and little did I know how much our lives were about to change.

Because so much time had passed, I needed to go back to their orphanage’s website and choose a new child to sponsor.  I scanned over the pictures of these adorable children and read their stories.  The sponsorship requires a monthly donation to help meet the needs of these orphans – and they send you pictures and updates on the child you sponsor.  I wanted to choose a child that “made a connection” to our family, so I chose Lori, a precious little girl who was abandoned in a cardboard box probably because she was hearing impaired.   We have a dear family friend named Lori and other friends whose little girl had recently been diagnosed as hearing impaired.  So, we printed off Lori’s picture and committed to being her Prayer Parents through the sponsorship program.  We thought that was the end of it and we “had done our part” in helping orphans.   Think again…. A week or so later, we received an email from the orphanage director telling us Lori was being placed for adoption (not all children living in orphanages have been legally cleared for adoption – some still have family members who have not relinquished their rights) and she very pointedly asked us if we wanted her.  That was the moment our lives changed forever and our adoption story began.  How could we say “no”?  I don’t even remember really discussing it – we just read the email and automatically said “yes, we’ll take her”.  Here is a little girl who needs a family, we already had a connection to her and had committed to praying for her, and now we were being asked to be that family she needed.  We felt like the question had already been answered – Yes, we’ll take her!  The journey since that day has been a beautiful example of God’s faithfulness and His call to take care of the fatherless.  The process of adoption is difficult and there are many hurdles to overcome.  However, each time we have run up against one of these obstacles – God has faithfully and miraculously seen us through.  We stand amazed at His goodness and His provision.  Lori isn’t “home” yet – but each day we get a little closer to completing the adoption – and we are blessed that our lives have been forever changed.  We have often said that we hope our story inspires others to get involved in helping the helpless.  Not every family can adopt – but every one can help with adoption.   Pray about how God can use you to help – can you help a family in your church or community raise funds?  Can you help babysit other children while the parents travel to pick up the newly adopted child?  Can you offer your services as a Notary Public?  Can you donate postage to help with the costs of mailing paperwork?  Can you establish an adoption fund in your church to help families in your church afford adoption?  There are so many ways to help with adoption and it all contributes to finding “forever families” for these sweet children who desperately need your help.  I hope that our story leaves you “forever changed” and that as you read this last sentence – you begin looking for ways to get involved.  There are 143 million orphans in the world today waiting for you….

Mom, Camille Lancaster www.lancasterfamilyfun.blogspot.comKeep up with the Lancaster’s at our blog

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Adoption 101: Owies in the Heart Part 2

Posted on 12 July 2010 by Kari Gibson

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